World Travel & Tourism Council

The Authority on World Travel & Tourism

G20 recognises Travel & Tourism as a driver of economic growth for the first time and commit to work on travel facilitation

20 June 2012

The G20 world leaders have for the first time, recognised the importance of Travel & Tourism as a driver of jobs, growth and economic recovery.

The Leaders’ Declaration from the annual meeting of the G20 world leaders, held in Los Cabos, Mexico, on 18-19 June, recognizes “the role of travel and tourism as a vehicle for job creation, economic growth and development, and, while recognizing the sovereign right of States to control the entry of foreign nationals" and commits to "work towards developing travel facilitation initiatives in support of job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth.”

This is the first time that Travel & Tourism has been included in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration and is the culmination of long-term efforts by the industry, led by UNWTO and WTTC, to encourage world leaders to see the potential of Travel & Tourism to create millions of new jobs and billions of dollars of GDP.

According to WTTC the industry directly will contribute $2 trillion in GDP and 100 million jobs to the global economy in 2012. When the wider economic impacts of the industry are taken into account, Travel & Tourism is forecast to contribute some $6.5 trillion to the global economy and generate 260 million jobs – or 1 in 12 of all jobs on the planet.

Research by the two organisations, released at the T20 Ministers meeting showed that G20 economies could boost their international tourist numbers by an additional 122 million, generate an extra US$ 206 billion in tourism exports and create over five million additional jobs by 2015 by improving visa processes and entry formalities. Findings showed that of the 656 million international tourists who visited G20 countries in 2011, an estimated 110 million needed a visa, many of whom deterred from travelling by the cost, waiting time and difficulty of obtaining a visa. Facilitating visas for these tourists, many from some of the world’s fastest growing source markets such as the BRICs, could stimulate demand, spending and ultimately create millions of new jobs in the G20 economies.

Speaking after the publication of the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai and WTTC President & CEO, David Scowsill said:

“We commend the G20 world leaders for recognising the importance of Travel & Tourism as a driver of economic growth and job creation for the first time and stand ready to support all efforts by the G20 countries in this respect. This is a significant success for the industry and could not have happened without the support of President Calderon, a leader who truly understands the socio-economic value of tourism and its potential to create new jobs in such difficult economic times, and without the commitment of Secretary Gloria Guevara, who so successfully chaired the T20 (Tourism Ministers of G20 countries) last month. Mexico is an example in marketing its extraordinary tourism destinations but also in tourism policy namely through significant advances in visa policies which encourage more inbound tourists.

“By facilitating visas, the G20 countries stand to gain five million jobs at a time of rampant unemployment across the world. These are in addition to the hundreds of millions of direct and indirect jobs already being supported every day by the sector.”

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Note to editors:

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. It promotes sustainable growth for the industry, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. Travel & Tourism accounts for 258 million jobs globally. At US$6 trillion (9.1% of GDP) the sector is a key driver for investment and economic growth. For more than 20 years, the World Travel & Tourism Council has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world’s leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses. These Members bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making, raising awareness of the importance of the industry as an economic generator of prosperity. Follow us on twitter @WTandWC

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO: www.UNWTO.org), a United Nations specialized agency, is the leading international organization with the decisive and central role in promoting the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism know-how. Its membership includes 155 countries, 7 territories, 2 permanent observers and over 400 Affiliate Members.

Media Contacts:

UNWTO Principal Media Officer: Marcelo Risi
Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60
mrisi@UNWTO.org

WTTC Communications Director: Toby Nicol
Tel: (+44) 20 7481 6483
toby.nicol@WTTC.org
www.WTTC.org

G20 Leaders Declaration
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